How to Sideload Fire TV Apps On Your Fire TV Stick Or Cube

It's simple to break free from Amazon's app store

A woman sideloads a Fire TV device from her phone.

Inti St Clair/Blend/Getty

Amazon provides a lot of great Fire TV apps through their official app store, but it doesn't have everything. If you want to unlock the true potential of your Fire TV device, you can sideload apps like Kodi, Allcast, and even emulators.

Sideloading a Fire TV device isn't difficult, and it doesn't require any special equipment, but it is more complicated than downloading and installing official apps.

Why Should You Sideload Fire TV Apps?

Sideloading is a process that allows you to install applications on a device using unofficial methods. In the case of Fire TV devices, sideloading allows you to install applications that aren't available through the official Amazon app store. This allows you to run a lot of Android apps that you normally wouldn't have access to, like Kodi.

To sideload an app on a Fire TV device, you need an APK file for that app. You can typically get these files directly from the developer's official site, but there are also a number of reputable third-party sites that provide APK files.

The two easiest methods of sideloading a Fire TV device are to use a downloader app or to sideload directly from an Android phone.

The first method uses an app from the Amazon app store to download APK files to your Fire TV. Once you've downloaded an APK file, you can install it. The second method sideloads apps directly from an Android phone to a Fire TV device through your Wi-Fi network.

Before You Begin: Prepare Your Fire TV Device For Sideloading

Regardless of which method you use to sideload your Fire TV device, the first thing you need to do is prepare your device for sideloading. For security reasons, Fire TV devices are not able to sideload apps unless you change two settings.

This is an easy process, and you only need to do it once.

  1. Open the Settings menu on your Fire TV device.

    Settings on Fire TV
  2. Select My Fire TV.

    My Fire TV icon in Fire TV Settings

    Depending on the type of Fire TV device you have, and how recently it has been updated, you may need to select Device instead of My Fire TV.

  3. Select Developer options.

    Developer options in My Fire TV Settings
  4. Turn on both ADB debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.

    ADB debugging ON
  5. To confirm that you want to run apps from unknown sources, select Turn On when prompted.

    Turn On Apps from Unknown Sources
  6. Your Fire TV device is now ready to sideload using either of the following methods.

How to Sideload A Fire TV Device Using A Downloader App

You can sideload apps to any Fire TV device, including the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube, using a downloader app. This method doesn't require any additional equipment, because it uses a downloader app that is freely available from the official Fire TV app store.

Only download and install APK files from official sources and trusted third-party sites.

Here's how to sideload your Fire TV using a downloader app:

  1. Search for Downloader using the search function or Alexa voice search.

    Downloader search on Fire TV Search page
  2. Locate Downloader in the results, and select it.

    Downloader app for Amazon Fire TV
  3. Select Download.

    Download button for Downloader app

    This app is free, but it's still added to your library when you first download it on any Amazon device. If you have previously used this app elsewhere, you will see a You own it message. You still need to download it to your Fire TV device before you can use it for sideloading.

  4. Wait for Downloader to install, and open it.

    Open button for Downloader app
  5. Enter the address of the site associated with the app you want to download. For example, you can download the Kodi app from kodi.tv/download.

    https://kodi.tv/download in Browser for Amazon Fire TV

    Only download apps from official sources and trusted third-party sites. If you don't know where to find the app you're looking for, one of the best sites to find Fire TV apps is apkmirror.com.

  6. Use the circle pad and center button on your Fire TV remote to navigate the app website, and locate the app you want to install.

    Kodi v17.6

    When there are multiple versions of an app available, look for one that is designed for Android, or specifically for Fire TV. If the app is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, choose 32-bit.

  7. Wait for the download to complete.

    A screenshot of an in-progress download of a sideloaded app on Fire TV.
  8. Select Install.

    Install button for Kodi
  9. Wait for the installation to complete.

    A screenshot of a sideloaded app installing on a Fire TV device.
  10. Your sideloaded app is now ready to use.

How to Sideload A Fire TV Device With An Android Phone

If you have an app installed on your Android phone, and you would like to have the same app installed on your Fire TV device, there's a way to sideload directly from your phone to your Fire TV. This method requires an Android phone, so it isn't useful if you only use iPhones.

This method only works if the app you want to sideload is designed to work with Fire TV. If you try to sideload an incompatible app, you'll get an error message.

Here's how to sideload apps from your Android phone to your Fire TV device:

  1. Download and install Apps2Fire on your Android phone.

    The Apps2Fire listing in Google Play.

    

  2. Open the Apps2Fire app, and tap the (three vertical dots) overflow menu icon.

    3 horizontal dots menu in Apps2Fire app on Android
  3. Tap Setup.

    Setup menu item in Apps2Fire
  4. Tap Network.

    Network button in Apps2Fire app
  5. On your Fire TV, navigate to Settings > My Fire TV > Network, and write down the listed IP address.

    IP Address in Amazon Fire TV Settings
  6. Locate your Fire TV device in the list, and tap it.

    The device search screen in the Apps2Fire app.

    Depending on your network, the devices in your list may or may not have names. If the list consists entirely of IP addresses, you'll need to refer back to the IP address that you wrote down in the previous step. If you don't see your Fire TV in the list, make sure your Fire TV and your phone are connected to the exact same Wi-Fi network.

  7. Tap Save.

    Save button in Apps2Fire
  8. Tap Local Apps.

    Local Apps tab in Apps2Fire
  9. Locate an app you want to sideload to your Fire TV device, and tap it.

    A screenshot of the local apps screen on Apps2Fire.
  10. Tap Install.

    Install button for OneDrive via Apps2Fire
  11. Check your Fire TV. When prompted, select OK.

    OK button for USB debugging
  12. Go back to your phone, and tap OK.

    OK button for Installation in Apps2Fire
  13. The sideloaded app is now ready to use on your Fire TV.